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AVEVA combines with Schneider Electric

AVEVA combined with Schneider Electric's industrial software business, bringing together AVEVA's design, engineering, and construction capabilities with Schneider Electric's industrial software business, which ranges from simulation to real-time manufacturing operations management. It creates a provider of engineering and industrial software, expanding the markets and industries the company serves.

AVEVA has more than 4,400 people across 80 locations in over 40 countries, and its global headquarters is in Cambridge, U.K. Industries served include chemical; food and beverage; infrastructure and smart cities; life sciences; mining, minerals and metals; oil and gas (upstream, midstream, and downstream); power and utilities; shipbuilding; and water and wastewater.

Process automation system multivendor interoperability

The OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group formed an alliance in late 2017 to advance process automation system multivendor interoperability and simplified integration by developing a standardized process automation device information model. A joint working group will develop a protocol-independent companion specification for process automation devices. The group will use FieldComm Group's experience with the HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus communication protocols to standardize data, information, and methods for all process automation devices through FDI using OPC UA. The OPC UA base information model and companion Device Information (DI) specification will be extended to include the generic definition and information associated with process automation devices.

The OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group have worked together for more than a decade, initially working on the development of the Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) specification and most recently on the creation of FDI technology.

The joint working group plans to release an extensible process automation information model specification during the first quarter of 2019. The working group is open to all members of both organizations, as well as collaboration partners of the organizations.

Slight growth for U.S. valve industry

The U.S. industrial valve industry will grow by 1.45 percent in valve shipments in 2018, bringing the value of those shipments up to $4.615 billion for the year, according to the Valve Manufacturers Association's 2018 Market Forecast of Industrial Valve Shipments. That rate of growth is slightly behind 2017's rate of 1.89 percent, which translated to shipments worth $4.549 billion.

While overall industry growth is not huge from 2017 to 2018, "it translates to $66 million more in valve shipments for the year, which is a positive sign for the industry," said VMA president William Sandler. Looking back at shipments over the past decade, the industry has gained $615 million in valve shipments, he pointed out.

The industry also has been growing since 2009, when a tumble in the petroleum and power industries meant the year saw almost no growth. "However, last year and this year, we are continuing the slow steady climb upward that has been part of our industry for the last 10 years," Sandler said.

The largest growth for 2018 will come from the petroleum production industry, which will increase by more than $42 million and gain almost a percentage point share in the market. It now holds 11.4 percent of the market compared to last year's 10.5 percent.

Remaining in top place of valve end-user industries is the chemical industry, which holds 18.3 percent of the market, a share that did not change significantly this year. The second largest market share belongs to water/wastewater, which holds 17.7 percent of the market, slipping by half a percentage point in 2017, or about $2.3 million less for the year.

Other energy markets continue to rank among the top users, including power generation at 11.8 percent and petroleum refining at 11.7 percent. Slight gains have occurred in commercial construction and in oil and gas transmission. Those industries each hold about 6 percent of the market. Slight losses have occurred in pulp and paper and in iron and steel.

As far as the type of valves, automatic valves are the most-often used valve being shipped today. "Automatic valves are outpacing conventional manually operated versions, as end users seek to remove variability and human error from the process," said Mark Nahorski, president of PBM Inc. and chairman of VMA. "Automation and controls continue to play a major role in the valve industry-the segment represents 31 percent of VMA industrial valve shipments for 2018 compared to 18 percent for ball valves."

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